Unwired Planet Jumps 11% After Win in Huawei, Samsung Case

  • Second win in series of trials over wireless technology
  • Shares jumped as much as 16 percent after U.S. markets open

Unwired Planet Inc. rose as much as 16 percent after the company won the third in a series of London patent trials against Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei Technologies Co. over mobile communications technology.

Judge Colin Birss said in a ruling handed down Tuesday that the patents called “method for improving handovers between mobile communications systems” were infringed and essential to the 2G standard.

Unwired Planet is suing some of the world’s biggest phone makers in London because it says their products rely on its proprietary technology. The Los Altos, California-based firm acquired a portfolio of more than 2,000 patents from Ericsson AB in 2013. Its shares rose as much as 20 percent after winning the first of six London patent trials in November.

"This latest victory, coupled with our earlier successes in both the U.K. and Germany, establishes beyond doubt the need for the manufacturers of handsets and infrastructure equipment that implement telecoms standards to license our portfolio," Noah Mesel, Unwired Planet’s general counsel, said in a statement. "That is what we set out to do when we decided to commence litigation nearly three years ago."

Unwired’s shares jumped $1.02, or 11 percent, to $10.00 at 11:40 a.m. in New York after rising as much as 16 percent.

Legal disputes about who invented the roughly quarter of a million proprietary gadgets in every handset have become commonplace in civil courts around the world. The emergence of firms that exist solely to acquire patents and wring money out of them by threatening lawsuits has led to calls in the U.S. for legislation to combat so-called patent trolls.

The patent is related to the method for transferring calls from 2G to 3G and 4G networks. Unwired won the first trial over patents linked to 4G telecommunications in November but lost a second ruling in which a judge decided that patents for technology that allows mobile phones to connect to the Internet were invalid. A fourth trial is scheduled to begin in May.

The case is Unwired Planet International v Huawei Technologies & ors, Chancery Division, High Court of Justice, Patents Court, HP-2014-000005.

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